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2012 Films (archive) Return to Current Films


About the Hard Life of a Barn Swallow (Suitsupaasukese raskest elust) | Among Giants | Bhutan: the Land of the Naked Crane | Craziest Idea, The | eel water rock man | From the Mara Soil | Ice | Into Eternity | Kadoma | A Life Ascending | A Liter of Light | Marin Stoddart: The Work of 1000 | Mokelumne River: Wild and Scenic | Schooling the World | Second Nature: the Biomimicry Revolution | Someplace with a Mountain | The Story of Broke | The Towers of Ennedi | Tramping in Bohemia




About the Hard Life of Barn Swallow (Suitsupaasukese raskest elust) | Black Bart Playhouse | March 24, 2012

barn swallowThe life of a Barn Swallow is not easy. Everything gets mixed up on the way back home from Africa, bigger birds are pesky, ghastly shadows from previous centuries annoyingly stalky, the clay is all gone and the barn locked at night.

Chintis Lundgren | 2011 | 5 min. | Estonia

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Among Giants | Black Bart Playhouse | March 24, 2012

As clearcutting continues to ravage California’s coastal redwood region, Farmer, an environmental activist, decides to tree sit to defend the McKay Tract, near Eureka. AMONG GIANTS begins three years into the McKay tree-sit. Stuck on his tiny platform a hundred feet up in the ancient redwood canopy, Farmer must battle the elements and avoid isolation as he fights for a sustainable future. In August 2011, Green Diamond Resource Company was granted on extension on their plan to clearcut the McKay Tract. Farmer’s dedication to protect the grove of old-growth redwoods and endangered species is now more important than ever.

Chris Cresci, Sam Price-Waldman | 2011 | 14 min. | USA



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Bhutan: the Land of the Naked Crane | Black Bart Playhouse | March 24, 2012

“Bhutan: Land of the Black-necked Crane” takes viewers on an exotic Journey to the small Buddhist kingdom high in the Himalayan mountains. See how a benevolent king promotes Gross Domestic Happiness for his citizens while fostering respect for the environment and natural resources. Travel with George Archibald co-founder of the International Crane Foundation to see the rare and endangered Black-necked Cranes.

Greg Pope and Rhett Turner | 2011 | 16 min. | USA


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Craziest Idea, The | Black Bart Playhouse | March 24, 2012

2011 was an historic year for rivers. The two dam removal projects that began as “crazy ideas” 30 years ago kicked off this year on the Elwha and White Salmon Rivers in Washington. These dam removal projects are the largest in history and represent a turning point in the effort to restore freeflowing rivers for salmon, recreation and culture. The climactic moment of the year was the explosive breach of 125 foot tall Condit Dam on the White Salmon, captured using video and timelapse photography techniques.

Andy Maser | 7 min. | USA

crazy idea

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eel water rock man | Black Bart Playhouse | March 24, 2012

eelA short documentary vignette celebrating nature’s cycles, contentedness, and the last man on the east coast who still fishes for eels using an ancient stone weir. Narrated by artist and author, James Prosek.

Hal Clifford,Jason Houston | 2010 | 6 min. | USA



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From the Mara Soil | Chatom Vineyard | September 20, 2012 | Sponsored by Outer Aisle FOODS

What if global hunger, poverty and disease could be solved with the natural and abundant resources already at our finger tips? From the Mara Soil transports you to a community in rural Tanzania trying to answer this question with a novel approach to solving humanity’s greatest challenges with simple, natural and affordable solutions. This inspiring film captures the daily pain and suffering caused by poverty in Tanzania, as well as the creativity and optimism of local activists using permaculture to tackle hunger, solar cooking to save lives and trees, plants like Neem to prevent malaria and a drilling rig to tap clean water trapped in bedrock.

Steve Schrenzel | 2010 | 39 min. | USA



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Ice | Chatom Vineyard | September 22, 2012 | Sponsored by Sol Sierra

An out of the box environmental thriller, “Ice” aims to promote a message of climate change awareness by using the cinematic medium for what it's best at, affecting people at an emotional level. The film adopts a thriller style narrative, keeping the audience guessing until the very end.

Jonathan Burton - Director | 2010 | 7 min. | Australia

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Into Eternity | Columbia College | November 2, 2012

The world’s nuclear power plants have generated an estimated 300,000 tons of high-level radioactive waste that must be safely stored for 100,000 years or more. Every year, they generate another 12,000 metric tons of high-level waste. Into Eternity is the first feature-length documentary to explore the mind-boggling scientific and philosophical questions long-term nuclear waste storage poses.

Structured as a message to future generations, the film focuses on the Onkalo waste repository now under construction in Finland, one of the first underground storage facilities. Onkalo is a gigantic network of tunnels being carved out of bedrock that will start receiving Finland’s nuclear waste in 2020. Once the repository is full, in about 100 years, it will be closed and hopefully remain sealed for at least 100,000 years.

Into Eternity takes viewers deep into the Onkalo facility as it is being constructed and asks Onkalo representatives, scientists, theologians and others to address fundamental but challenging questions.

How can our civilization know what the world will be like in 100,000 years? The first modern homo sapiens appeared about that long ago and no human structure has survived more than 5000 years. How can we anticipate climate and geologic changes that far in the future? What will life on our planet be like then? How do we warn distant generations of the deadly waste our civilization left behind? What languages or signs will they understand? How do we prevent them from thinking they have located the pyramids of our time or some other treasures?

With its stark, stylistic approach, Into Eternity not only raises questions about the possibility of long-term nuclear waste storage, but also invites reflection on the limits of science and human knowledge, along with our responsibility to future generations.

Michael Madsen & Lise Lense-Møller | 2011 | 75 min. | Denmark

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Kadoma | Black Bart Playhouse | March 24, 2012 | Sponsored by Oars

After more than a decade exploring Central Africa, Hendri Coetzee is a modern legend of African exploration. Solo on the Congo River in 2009, Hendri received an email from American expedition kayaker Ben Stookesberry. “It would be ludicrous,” Hendri said, “to take an American who you don’t know, and who has never been to Africa, into its very heart.” But a year later, he did just that.

Ben’s long-time kayaking partner, Chris Korbulic, joined the group as Hendri led the way from the Nile overland through Rwanda in order to kayak into the heart of the Congo on a previously unnavigated waterway, the Lukuga River. Seven weeks into the expedition, deep in the DRC, tragedy strikes.

On this ultimately tragic expedition, Hendri’s own words will always ring true: “Some of the things that we’re about to witness are so intense and horrible that they should stop the show; but they don’t. People still laugh and dance. Yes the bad things happen, but so do the good things, the amazing things, and the show goes on.”

Ben Stookesberry | 2011 | 44 min. | USA


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A Life Ascending | Columbia College | November 3, 2012 | Sponsored by Sol Sierra

A Life Ascending chronicles the life of acclaimed ski mountaineer and mountain guide Ruedi Beglinger. Living with his wife and two young daughters on a remote glacier in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Beglinger has built a reputation as one of the top mountaineering guides in the world. The film follows his family’s unique life in the mountains and their journey in the years following a massive avalanche that killed seven people. Documenting the sublime beauty and ever-present risk of a life lived on the edge, the film ultimately explores the power of nature as both an unforgiving host and profound teacher.

Stephen Grynberg | 2010 | 60 min. | USA



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A Liter of Light | Black Bart Playhouse | March 24, 2012

The film documents a foundation’s project to light up a poor neighborhood through the efforts of a local man who works for them. He becomes a beacon of hope to his community when he installs hundreds of solar-powered light bulbs in his neighbor’s houses. The clever device is made from old plastic soda bottles filled with water and bleach. Many of the homeowners can barely afford electricity and because their houses stand so close to each other, they don’t really get much daylight. With a little bleach, water and good will, their days are now much, much brighter.

Nick Santiago and Mike Talampas | 2011 | 2 min. | The Philippines



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Marion Stoddart | Black Bart Playhouse | March 24, 2012

This is the parallel journey of two characters: one a young woman discouraged at her future as a suburban housewife, the other a river — once beautiful and teeming with wildlife — now a hopeless, toxic sludge pit. Chronicling an important episode in U.S. environmental history, this inspirational story examines the human side of acclaimed environmental pioneer Marion Stoddart who proved that with vision and commitment, an “ordinary” person can accomplish extraordinary things.

Susan Edwards and Dorie Clark | 2010 | 30 min. | USA



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Mokelumne River: Wild and Scenic | Black Bart Playhouse | March 24, 2012 | Sponsored by Sol Sierra

This film highlights issues on the Mokelumne River including a proposed new Dam expansion that will flood critical habitat and unnecessarily destroy more river. From its headwaters in the high Sierra to the San Joaquin Delta, The Mokelumne River is a shining gem of nature. A National Wild and Scenic River Designation will ensure this precious resource is protected for future generations of fish, wildlife and people by preventing new dams and diversions on more than 37 miles of free-flowing river.

Mike E. Wier | 2010 | 10 min. | USA


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Schooling the World | Columbia College | November 3, 2012

If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it forced Native American children into government boarding schools. Today, volunteers build schools in traditional societies around the world, convinced that school is the only way to a ‘better’ life for indigenous children. But is this true? What really happens when we replace a traditional culture’s way of learning and understanding the world with our own? Beautifully shot on location in the Buddhist culture of Ladakh, Schooling the World takes a challenging, sometimes funny, ultimately deeply disturbing look at the effects of modern education on the world’s last sustainable indigenous cultures. Featuring Wade Davis, Vandana Shiva, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Manish Jain, and Dolma Tsering.

Carol Black, Neal Marlens, Jim Hurst | 2010 | 65 min. | USA



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Second Nature: the Biomimicry Revolution| Chatom Vineyard | September 20, 2012 |

Second Nature: The Biomimicry Evolution explores biomimicry, the science of emulating nature’s best ideas to solve human problems. Set in South Africa, the film follows Time magazine “Hero of the Environment” Janine Benyus as she illustrates how organisms in nature can teach us to be more sustainable engineers, chemists, architects, and business leaders. After 3.8 billion years, nature has discovered not only how to survive but also how to thrive as a system. Benyus brings deep affection for the natural world as she guides us toward a vision of a planet in balance between human progress and ecosystem survival.

Guy Lieberman and Matthew Rosmarin | 2010 | 24 min. | South Africa


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Someplace with a Mountain | Newsome Harlow Tasting Room | April 19, 2012

Narrated by Chevy Chase, this tragic yet hopeful documentary tells the story of a small group of Island Atolls that are disappearing because of sea rise. The people who live there did not understand what was to soon be their ultimate fate. Steve Goodall came across them on his travels and when he told them they asked for his help.

Steve Goodall | 2010 | 55 min. | USA


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The Story of Broke: Why There’s Still Plenty of Money to Build a Better Future | Columbia College | November 3, 2012

The United States isn't broke; we’re the richest country on the planet, and a country where the richest among us are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, our economy is broken, producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country. In these and so many other ways, it just ism’t working. But rather than invest in something better, we continue to keep this ‘dinosaur economy’ on life support with hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money. “The Story of Broke” calls for a shift in government spending toward investments in clean, green solutions—renewable energy, safer chemicals and materials, zero waste, education. These are real solutions that can deliver jobs and a healthier environment. It’s time to rebuild the American Dream… but this time, let’s build it better.

Free Range Studios, The Story of Stuff Project | 2011 | 8 min. | USA



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The Towers of Ennedi | Black Bart | September 24, 2012

Follow climbers Mark Synnott, Alex Honnold and James Pearson as they travel across the roadless, windswept deserts of northeastern Chad. Basing their expedition on nothing more than a few photographs and rumors of a promised land with countless unclimbed sandstone towers, Mark’s insatiable thirst for adventure and first ascents leads the small crew deep into the spectacular landscape of the Ennedi desert. In their search for unclimbed sandstone towers, the team finds much more than climbing in this film about risk and the arc of a climber’s career.

Camp 4 Collective | 2011 | 13 min. | USA



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Tramping in Bohemia | Columbia College | November 3, 2011

In Communist Czechoslovakia, it was not so difficult to find a sense of freedom. All you needed was a backpack, a guitar, and a place to sleep under the stars. That has always been the escape strategy of the Czech tramps, outdoorsmen and women who hike, camp, canoe and ride the rails. Inspired by the American West, tramps adopted country songs, cowboy dress and English names to create a distinctly Czech subculture that offered a taste of romanticism and freedom. But in today’s democratic Czech Republic, there’s little reason for rebellion and escape. Is there still a place for these old romantics and the youth culture that defined them?

Margot Buff | 2011 | 30 min. | Czech Republic

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